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Setting up GlusterFS on four Banana Pi servers

In this post I'm going to set up GlusterFS volume on four Banana Pi servers, each with its own SATA hard disk.  The volume will have two bricks, each occupying one disk. The bricks will be replicated on the two remaining disks.

4 node Banana Pi GlusterFS volume

I'm using a fifth Banana Pi as a client which I will use to access the volume.  The client has a mouse, keyboard and monitor attached to it.  I'm using ssh to connect from the client to the nodes in the cluster.  All five Banana Pi boards are connected to an ethernet switch.  

I'm using four 1TB hard disks.  I'm using replication, so although the total amount of disk space is 4TB, the actual capacity is 2TB.  Some of that space will be taken up with file system overheads, so there will be around 1.7TB of space available to store data. The hard disks are powered with a PC power supply.

I ran bpi-config on all nodes to set basic parameters.  I gave the nodes in the cluster host names glus1 to glus4, andd I set static IP addresses ranging from to  

Set up the client node

On the client, install updates and install the GlusterFS client:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get install glusterfs-client -y

Open the hosts file in a text editor:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

Enter these host names:   glus1   glus2   glus3   glus4

Set up each server node

Log into each node from the client:

ssh bananapi@glus1

Install Linux updates and the GlusterFS server: 

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
sudo apt-get install glusterfs-server -y

Enter the host names.  On each server, use the loopback address for that server's host name. The hosts file for glus2 looks like this:   glus1      glus2   glus3   glus4

Each SATA drive needs to be partitioned and formatted.  Use fdisk to partition the SATA disk:

sudo fdisk /dev/sda
Device contains neither a valid DOS partition table, nor Sun, SGI or OSF disklabel
Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0x7a48f006.
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
After that, of course, the previous content won't be recoverable.

Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x7a48f006

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System

Command (m for help): n
Partition type:
   p   primary (0 primary, 0 extended, 4 free)
   e   extended
Select (default p): p
Partition number (1-4, default 1): 1
First sector (2048-1953525167, default 2048): 
Using default value 2048
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G} (2048-1953525167, default 1953525167): 
Using default value 1953525167

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

Create an ext4 filesystem in the partition:

sudo mkfs -t ext4 /dev/sda1

Create a directory where the drive will be mounted:

sudo mkdir /srv/store/

Edit fstab to make sure the new drive is mounted when the server boots up:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Add a line for the new disk:

proc            /proc           proc    defaults          0       0
/dev/mmcblk0p1  /boot           vfat    defaults          0       2
/dev/mmcblk0p2  /               ext4    defaults,noatime  0       1
/dev/sda1       /srv/store      ext4    defaults,noatime  0       0

I used the noatime option to reduce the amount of disk access.  Reboot and make sure the new drive is mounted using the df command:

Filesystem     1K-blocks    Used Available Use% Mounted on
rootfs           7628360 2968404   4315408  41% /
/dev/root        7628360 2968404   4315408  41% /
devtmpfs          447604       0    447604   0% /dev
tmpfs              89544     256     89288   1% /run
tmpfs               5120       0      5120   0% /run/lock
tmpfs             179080       0    179080   0% /run/shm
/dev/mmcblk0p1     57288   14592     42696  26% /boot
/dev/sda1      961433632  204436 912391120   1% /srv/store

Set up the other three servers the same way. 

Set up GlusterFS

At this point, the servers and disks are ready for GlusterFS to be set up.  Log back into glus1, and probe the other peers to set up a trusted pool of Gluster servers:

sudo gluster peer probe glus2
sudo gluster peer probe glus3
sudo gluster peer probe glus4

Check that the peers are connected:

bananapi@glus1 ~ $ sudo gluster peer status
Number of Peers: 3

Hostname: glus2
Uuid: 186a69a4-423a-49bb-9061-b2e695328ffb
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)

Hostname: glus3
Uuid: 95dc286e-affa-4431-89eb-76babfa5185e
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)

Hostname: glus4
Uuid: 682b38db-d80a-42fb-a58b-86d31a05f5f8
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)
bananapi@glus1 ~ $ 

Create a volume called vol0 with two bricks which are distributed and replicated:

sudo gluster volume create vol0 replica 2 glus1:/srv/store/vol0 glus2:/srv/store/vol0 glus3:/srv/store/vol0 glus4:/srv/store/vol0
Creation of volume vol0 has been successful. Please start the volume to access data.

Start the volume:

sudo gluster volume start vol0
Starting volume vol0 has been successful

Check the volume's status:

sudo gluster volume info 
Volume Name: vol0
Type: Distributed-Replicate
Status: Started
Number of Bricks: 2 x 2 = 4
Transport-type: tcp
Brick1: glus1:/srv/store/vol0
Brick2: glus2:/srv/store/vol0
Brick3: glus3:/srv/store/vol0
Brick4: glus4:/srv/store/vol0

Set up the client

The GlusterFS volume should be running now, so you can mount the volume to check that it is accessible on the client:

sudo mount -t glusterfs glus1:/vol0 /mnt

Use the df command to make sure the volume has been mounted:

df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs          7.3G  2.9G  4.1G  42% /
/dev/root       7.3G  2.9G  4.1G  42% /
devtmpfs        438M     0  438M   0% /dev
tmpfs            88M  284K   88M   1% /run
tmpfs           5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs           175M     0  175M   0% /run/shm
/dev/mmcblk0p1   56M   15M   42M  26% /boot
glus1:/vol0     1.8T  400M  1.7T   1% /mnt

Create a directory where this volume will be mounted when the Pi boots up:

sudo mkdir /srv/data

Next I need to configure the client to mount the volume every time it boots.  This would normally be done by adding a line to fstab, but the last time I set up Gluster I found that adding a line to the client's fstab file didn't work.  When the Pi boots up, the GlusterFS client daemon isn't available until after the fstab file has been processed.  This caused the client node to fail to mount the voume.  

A simple workaround is to put a mount command in the root's crontab file.  Use this command to open the file for editing:

sudo crontab -u root -e
no crontab for root - using an empty one
crontab: installing new crontab

Add this line:

@reboot sleep 1;mount -t glusterfs glus1:/vol0 /srv/data -o backupvolfile-server=glus2

I used the -o option to pass the backupvolfile-server parameter to the Glusterfs client.  This means thst if there's a problem with glus1, the client will failover to glus2.

Quit from the text editor.  Change the owner of the mounted volume to make it accessible to user bananapi:

sudo chown bananapi /srv/data

Reboot the client node.  Now it should be possible to write a file to the volume on /srv/data, and read it back again:

echo "Hello World" > /srv/data/hello.txt
cat /srv/data/hello.txt
Hello World

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